6/23/2016

Uniclife handheld inhaler I used for asthma flares

I ordered this nebulizer from Amazon after my other breathing machine broke. My daughter has been using it for a bad asthma flare. I like it because it's portable, but I reall hate being sick.



The thing is that gizmos like this can help us live better lives. We should never be ashamed or embarrassed about whatever we need to do to enjoy life. Whether dealing with PTSD, asthma, depression or diabetes etc. we deserve a shot at happiness.



Many people get bogged down in worry about what kind of health life throws at them. Take it one step at a time. Listen to your doctors and caregivers. Develop a path that will bring you contentment. You are worth it.



6/08/2016

Adrenalectomy post surgery adrenal glad removal update

We'll start with the good news about the adrenalectomy first. The mass on my adrenal gland was not cancer nor was it a pheochromocytoma of any sort. Instead, it was a benign mass that was taking  up space and generally creating havoc. Like an unruly neighbor, the mass had to go.

My medial team consisted of an expert surgeon, fabulous endocrinologist and equally terrific GP (general practitioner). I think they said it took around three hours from the time goodbye was said to my husband and daughter. All went well with the surgery and the overnight hospital stay. My temperature skyrocketed to 102 F at home and my blood pressure went along for the ride. The doctor gave me some pretty strict instructions when I called to let him know.

All returned to semi-normal several days after the adrenal gland was removed. I say semi-normal because some things started happening after the adrenalectomy that has made us all very happy. Let me give you some back story before we get too far into that.

I was on four blood pressure medications before the laproscopic procedure. One of those blood pressure medications was taken for heat sensitivity and not for blood pressure. However, in addition to controlling the heat issues it is expected to have had a least some impact. Another one of those pills was a 2-in-one medication. So, I guess that's really five medications which is really not cool. Even with all of those I was hitting some afternoon blood pressures of 160 over ____. (Which was really, really not cool.) Never mind the other ways that the little bugger was causing chaos!

Since the outrageousness was potentially related to the adrenal mass the decision was made to get the thing out of there. You won't believe what happened next.

My blood pressure dropped, a lot. Enough so that I said goodbye to the medicine for heat sensitivity and the two-in-one medication. The others are at half dosage. Guess what my numbers are running now? How about 110 or 130 over around 70-80.  And, it appears that the other madness is calming down too.

Whew.

Now to clarify. as my body adjusts I continue to be extremely tired. My numbers are swinging some and that makes me feel funny. (Especially when it's sugar related.) We're at a conference and even with the help of Hubby and Tomlin, my tail is dragging! But overall I think the decision to remove the adrenal gland was a good call. Who can argue with the results? Everything will hopefully be back to normal soon - or maybe even better than normal?

Many thanks to everyone for your concern and help. The emails, Facebook messages, tweets, cards and phone calls about the adrenal gland removal are very appreciated. Each of you who have contacted me are not just readers, but close friends and that is very, very much appreciated. Those of you who are already friends and family are very appreciated. May you stay healthy and may the sun shine upon you.

4/18/2016

Photography and Dyscalculia: An Evil Combination

I returned to college for Spring 2016 to take a photography class. Let me tell you, there is a lot more work to learning digital photography that I dreamed there would be. My sleepless nights weren't caused by college gear or by the massive amounts of equipment that a photographer needs. All of that seems perfectly reasonable. You, frustration looms large and you will never guess why.

Photography is math based.

Yup. It's the math part that's the burr under my saddle. Not the photos, steadiness or composition. 

What is the mathematical relationship between focal length and beating your head against the wall? An 18-140 mm lens works well. Unless it's a 181-40 or a 1-8140 mm. Dyscalculia wreaks havoc in a class like this.

Taking a photography course in college means learning the f-stop numbers and a bunch more math gobbledy gook. In f-stops, a small number means a lot of light gets in. Large numbers mean the opposite. My professor insists that these numbers make sense because they double each time and not only that but each "stop" cuts the light in half. It's all so clear now.

Uh huh.

Here's the f-stop chart.
f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/45, f/64, f/90, f/128  Making matters more difficult is that my camera measures these f-stops in 1/3 increments. This means multiplying by 3 to get the difference in the stops. For example, if the objective is to move from f/4 to f/8 that's two stops. 2 x 3 =6, so I turn the dial six times to move the two stops, three stops would mean nine clicks and so on. Thank goodness the camera software helps me adjust!

Confused? Welcome to my home.

At least the ISO numbers make sense at 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 and 6400 - as long as they aren't confused with the shutter speed numbers.

Shutters speeds control how long the shutter is open. This chart doubles too. See?
1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1
 Because we all know that half of 125 is 60 and half of 15 is 8.

What this really means is that the faster the rabbit runs, the slower you move. It really doesn't matter because space aliens don't care and the dog is asleep anyway.

If you need me, I and my Nikon D2700 be hiding in the closet.